The Gospel According to Psalms: Creation (Psalm 8)


David here is coming off the last few psalms of being rescued from his enemies – to the brightness of a new day, much like a child coming out of a tunnel to see that light approach at the end of the tunnel and then the glory of creation around him. David is celebrating he majesty of God.

There are 2 different words here in the Hebrew for the word Lord. The capitalized LORD , word is Yahweh and the our Lord is the word Adonai , which means ruler, master of king.So we could read verse 1 as:

“O Yahweh, our King, how majestic is your name in all the earth. You have set your glory above the heavens.”(8:1)

We see in Exodus that God use “I AM” and “Yahweh” interchangeably, which tells us that “I am” is one way for us to translate the name “Yahweh.” (Exodus 3:13-14)

But why is it so significant that God’s name is “I AM”? The real significance of this name is that God exists in and of himself. Yahweh created the heavens and the earth (Gen 2:4). By His own will and power, he existed before the universe came into being. He is the uncreated Creator, the self-existent one, and He is absolutely complete in himself. The name Yahweh also means that he will be true to himself. He cannot be manipulated or forced into anything – he will be who he will be. God defines himself; he does not change to fit what we expect or demand him to be. God will be true to himself at all times and in all places. God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. He revealed himself to Israel as Creator and Savior – he will not change. Thus Yahweh is our king and ruler who created the world and redeemed his people. Yahweh made his glory visible on earth below and the sky above.

In the next few verses we will see how God reveals his majesty through using weak people to do his work. In V2 he reveals his majesty by defeating his enemies through the weakness of children. In v 3-8 He reveals his majesty by ruling the world through weak, human beings. (1 Cor 1:27)

Psalms 8:2 “Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.”

In Jeremiah 6 – the same word is used here for babies and it refers to children playing in the streets.  So the phrase “babies and infants” (v2) here is broad enough to include grade school age children and toddlers just learning to speak.

The point is that God creates power and might for himself from the stammering, learning tongues if young children, rather than the established strength of the wise and aged. He brings himself glory through the youngest, weakest, most vulnerable human beings. So when little children lisp the Gospel, God unleashes power beyond comprehension as one author put it. When toddlers lisp out the gospel, they utter a powerful, profound truth. God gets all the glory because toddlers are so weak, so vulnerable. God is establishing his strength in this world through your children as they learn to praise him.

The world is set against God (Psalms 2:1).

God silences the mighty foes with the lips of children. For all his strength and fury, Satan himself cannot stand against the simple truth “Jesus loves me this I know”

Jesus applied Psalm 8 in the temple when he answered the Jewish leaders in Matthew (Mat 21:14)

The children recognized Jesus as the Messiah who brought God’s salvation. The chief priests and scribes were horrified that Jesus would allow this. But when Jesus accepted the praise of these children, Psalm 8 was fulfilled. The church leaders were defeated and the children’s praises won the day.

Psalms 8:3-4 “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?”

David here is probably reflecting back to when he was keeping the flocks of his father, under the countless stars at night. The sheer majesty and expanse that we see and can often leave us in awe of God’s creation but also in the grand scheme of things feeling kind of small. It is no wonder David asks, what is man that you are mindful of him?

The word David uses for name here is “enosh” – a word that emphasizes our frailty and mortality.  To emphasis our mortality – he pairs that with the name “son of man”, which emphasizes the fact that our lives are not our own.  God showed the depth of his love for us small, weak creatures through Jesus Christ. Jesus took the name “Son of Man” for himself – emphasizing his humanity.

David then shows us that we have the dignity of position, of our crown, and of authority. That we are made lower than the heavenly beings.

Psalms 8:5-8  “Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.6  You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 7  all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 8  the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.”

We are not mere animals though as God breathed life into us (Gen 2:7). God has given us a unique and exalted position in his created world. We have the dignity of the crown – God crowned him with glory and honor. Since glory and honor belong to God – we can see that we are made in Gods image. He made us in His likeness to reflect His glory. God has given us the highest honor of any earthly beings, God appointed us to rule over all creation as his representative. Nothing was left outside of our control. (Gen 1:26-32)

The problem is that this is not the way it is anymore, Adam & Eve had this kind of authority before their fall but for us I believe it to be long gone. In Hebrew 2:5 we see this as the write quotes Psalm 8 Heb 2:5  For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. 6  It has been testified somewhere, “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him? 7  You made him for a little while lower than the angels; you have crowned him with glory and honor, 8  putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. 9  But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.

Sin entered the world through Adam and there is nothing we can do to restore that rift between us and God but God loved us enough to provide a way to have that relationship restored through the Blood of His Son Jesus.

John 3:16-17 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.17  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.”

Romans 5:12  “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—”

1Timothy 2:5-6a  “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 2:6a  who gave himself as a ransom for all …”

God Loved his creation, gave His son to redeem it, we need to believe and accept it.

In verse 9 we wrap up where started – praising the LORD

Psalms 8:9  “O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”

Or O Yahweh (God), our King – how majestic is your name

You give victory through children, you give value to your frail created beings. You give value of a crown to your people, the sign of a ruler with authority and that all comes about to bring glory and honor back to you O LORD.

Psalms 8 is looking forward to the day when God’s people will be renewed and take their rightful rule over the world.


Study Questions

  1. Are you praising God enough?
  2. Do you see what the importance of Yahweh is here?
  3. Do you understand your value in God’s plan of creation?